Thinking about all the toxins in which we’re exposed to each and everyday can be rather frightening. From our cleaning supplies, to our beauty products, to the air we breathe; it can feel like there is no escape!
There is something you can do to help your body eliminate these daily toxins and it starts with taking care of your lymphatic system.
TBH, I didn’t know anything about the lymphatic system prior to my cancer diagnosis. I didn’t know it was crucial for disease prevention and I didn’t understand that it could have played a role in my health issues. When we think of the ways in which our bodies target and eliminate toxins, we tend to associate this process with our liver or kidneys. Although these organs do play a vital role, our lymphatic system is a complicated system that’s often overlooked.
What is the Lymphatic System?
Your lymphatic system is actually a part of your circulatory system, which performs a number of key functions. Its primary function is to help your body eliminate waste, toxins, and other potentially harmful material.
Your tonsils, adenoids, thymus, and spleen are also part of this extraordinary system. The thymus for instance, is where T-cells mature. Since T-cells helps destroy infections and cancerous cells, it’s an important component of this system. Like all bodily systems, every part of the lymphatic system works together, protecting us from illness and disease.
How Can the Lymphatic System Be Affected?
The lymphatic system relies on the relaxation and contraction of muscles and joints to keep it flowing. When it becomes stagnant and overwhelmed with too much toxic debris, this is when your immunity becomes impaired and disease can thrive.
Within Europe and the Far East, doctors understand the importance of this system. After all, the lymphatic system supports every other system within the human body. From your nervous system, to your immune system, to your digestive system; the lymphatic system plays a role. It’s believed that when one suffers from poor lymph health, this is when cancer can more easily develop.
In contrast, the United States do not view this system in the same way that other doctors do around the world. The lymph system is not typically a key focus until something goes wrong. This is generally when lymph nodes become swollen. In some cases, the lymph system is not examined until cancer has developed within a lymph gland.
If something is wrong with your lymphatic system, you will feel symptoms fairly quickly. Since lymph cleanses cells in all areas of your body, symptoms can vary and include (but are not limited to):
- Increased severity of allergies and food sensitivities
- Experiencing the common flu or cold more frequently
- Joint pain, even arthritis
- Loss of appetite
- Headaches and migraines
- Tender breasts
- Swollen tissues
- Mood swings
You Can Improve Your Lymphatic System
The most important piece of information to remember, is that the lymphatic system relies on movement. Unlike your cardiovascular systems, which uses your heart to pump fluid, your lymphatic system relies on the movement of your body. Here are eight simple tips, to improve your immune function and help you maintain positive health:
One of the easiest ways to pump lymph is through rebounding, the practice of bouncing on a rebounder (most commonly a trampoline). This fun and easy exercise will passively move your lymph, while stimulating the circulation of blood. If you got rid of your trampoline a long time ago, try jumping rope or some jump squats. It’s more the bouncing action in which supports this system.
#2 Lemon Water
One of the most common causes of lymph congestion is dehydration. Lymph is about 95% water, so hydration is essential for its health and flow. Only water can adequately rehydrate your body, but adding lemon will expedite the process. Lemon is an acid-reducing fruit, which helps to mineralize the body and lymph system. You can squeeze lemon into a refreshing cold glass of water, or try a hot lemon water before bed.
#3 Legs Up the Wall
This is an easy and beneficial suggestion, which utilizes the yoga pose known as legs up the wall. This helps to maximize lymph circulation within your lower body. When you reverse the flow of gravity in your legs, you encourage the removal of toxins based on lymphatic fluid circulation. Practicing yoga is highly suggested, as it stimulates your body and mind.
Through massage, you encourage lymphatic drainage. This helps to release toxins, while targeting possible lymph congestion. Massage to stimulate lymph, only requires a light touch. Lymph nodes are located close to the surface of your skin, so no deep tissue action is required. There are massage therapists who are specifically trained in this area, or you can begin massaging at home as well.
A number of herbs are known for their ability to increase lymphatic flow and cleanse the lymphatic system. Echinacea is a great example, as it’s known for its immune-boosting effects, while lessening lymphatic congestion. Red clover is another option which increases flow, promoting detoxification and reducing inflammation. A few other options include cleavers, Manjistha, and Bupleurum.
For a more in depth look at the herbs and foods for lymphatic health, click here to read 10 Foods to Boost Your Lymphatic System,
#6 Dry Brushing
Dry skin brushing seems a little odd, but I have seen such an improvement in my skin, especially regarding pollen and allergies in the air. For any other skin conditions like eczema and cellulite, this is a great tool. Simply brush your skin with a stiff, dry brush.
This will activate and decongest the lymphatic system. Dry brushing also stimulates the sweat glands, opens pores, and gets rid of dead skin cells. Brushing to the heart also encourages movement of the lymph and blood in underlying organs and tissues of the body, clearing out toxins.
#7 Eat Raw Foods
Raw foods are your lymphatic system’s strongest preference. Raw foods offer high levels of enzymes, which help break down toxins. This promotes the elimination of harmful substances. In particular, fruits and veggies are a great way to boost the water levels in your body. Focus on raw fruits and veggies which are also primarily alkaline. This will reduce acid build-up and neutralize harmful pathogens.
For a more in depth list of foods to choose for lymphatic health, click here to read 10 Foods to Boost Your Lymphatic System,
#8 Alternate hot and cold showers
I know a cold shower doesn’t sound appealing, but the cold will cause your blood vessels to contract, while hot temperatures dilate the blood vessels. Since the lymph systems functions on the relaxation and contraction of muscles and joints, a change in temperature will allow for increased flow, as well as the prevention of stagnation.
Targeting toxicity is crucial in terms of your health and disease prevention. Do not ignore your lymphatic system, as it is one of the greatest tools you have in terms of your immunity and natural defense. By utilizing some of the suggestions above, you will improve your overall health and help prevent any future health complications.